Tuesday, January 22, 2013

January 22 - Tennessee Civil War Notes

22, General J. E. Johnston ordered to inquire of General Braxton Bragg about the Confederate defeat at the battle of Stones River

EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Richmond, Va., January 22, 1863.

Gen. JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON, Cmdg., &c., Chattanooga, Tenn.:

GEN.: As announced in my telegram, I address this letter to you, to explain the purpose for which I desire that you will proceed promptly to the headquarters of Gen. Bragg's army. The events connected with the late battle at Murfreesborough, and retreat from that place, have led to criticism upon the conduct of Gen. Bragg, which induced him to call upon commanders of corps for an expression of opinion, and for information as to the feeling in their commands in regard to the conduct of Gen. Bragg, and also whether he had so far lost the confidence of the army as to impair his usefulness in his present position. The answers, I am informed, have been but partially given, but are so far indicative of a want of confidence, such as is essential to success.* Why Gen. Bragg should have selected that tribunal, and have invited its judgment upon him, is to me unexplained; it manifests, however, a condition of things which seems to me to require your presence.

The enemy is said to be preparing to advance, and though my confidence in Gen. Bragg is unshaken, it cannot be doubted that if he is distrusted by his officers and troops, a disaster may result which, but for that cause, would have been avoided.

You will, I trust, be able, by conversation with Gen. Bragg and others of his command, to decide what the best interests of the service require, and to give me the advice which I need at this juncture. As that army is a part of your command, no order will be necessary to give you authority there, as, whether present or absent, you have a right to direct its operations and do whatever else belongs to the general commanding.

Very respectfully and truly, yours,


OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt. II, pp. 613-614.

* Ed. note - See OR, Ser. I, Vol. 20, pt.I, pp. 682-684,699,701,702.



22-27, Expedition from Union City to Trenton

JANUARY 22-27, 1864.--Expedition from Union City to Trenton, Tenn.
Report of Col. George E. Waring, Jr., Fourth Missouri Cavalry, commanding Cavalry Brigade.

TRENTON, TENN., January 27, 1864.

CAPT.: In obedience to the order of the commanding general, I marched my command at 7.30 a. m., January 22, from Union City toward Sharp's Ferry, on the Obion River. The road in places was very bad. The marching column reached the vicinity of Sharp's Ferry before night, but the rear of the supply trains was still stuck in the mud, 4 miles from our starting place. I pressed teams and sent back to lighten loads, but nothing could be done that night, as men and animals were exhausted. The river at the ferry was choked with floating ice, the rope broken, and the boat filled with ice and water and In very bad condition. It was nearly daylight before we could commence crossing, and on account of the damaged condition of the boat only 8 horses could be crossed at a time.

Afternoon, January 23, the ice accumulated again, blocked up the river, broke the rope and stopped the crossing for over two hours. At night I received information that the supply trains had all got together at Troy, at which place the seventh Indiana Cavalry (from Hickman) had joined the command as it marched through. I had placed Col. Karge (Second New Jersey Cavalry) in charge of the ferry, and at 9 p. m. the Second Illinois and Nineteenth Pennsylvania pioneer corps and a portion of the Fourth Missouri having crossed, I crossed myself and came ahead to decide on the road to be taken and to send the pioneers ahead. I found the bottom on this side of the river in a horrible condition, and the river and sloughs rising very fast. Just before striking the highland (2 miles from the ferry) I found a place where the water was from 3 to 4 feet deep for a distance of 60 yards, and was covered with 3 inches of ice. Those who had first crossed had cut their way through, and the ice had been pushed on and packed in the channel near the shore, so that for a distance of 20 feet we had to plunge through a mass of ice and water in which horses and men fell and struggled (sometimes head and all under) until they could get out. Fort he next 3 miles to the ridges more than half of the road is very bad, and it was with the greatest difficulty that we got thought with the three wagons which had been crossed with the Second Illinois and the pioneers. They had to be unloaded and drawn through the sloughs with picket ropes.

During the night of the 23d and the day following, the Seventh Indiana crossed with its ambulances. By this time the river had risen to such an event that the horses had to be landed in 3 feet of water.
During the night of the 24th and until noon of the 25th, we were trying to establish a new ferry farther down the river, but the constant rising of the river rendered this impossible. As Col. Karge was cut off from all possibility of communicating with me except by Col. Shanks, of the Seventh Indiana Cavalry, who was the last man to cross, he sent me word by him that he should go back to Jacksonville, and thence by Dresden and Huntingdon to Jackson, unless he heard from me again. He has taken the best course, and has the energy to get through if any man can. I have now sent Col. Shanks with the Seventh Indiana and Nineteenth Pennsylvania to hold the crossings at Mount Pinson and Bolivar. The Second Illinois Cavalry is stationed at the bridge at Rodgers' Mill, near Spring Creek, and will hold the bridge and run the mill until I come up. I am now going back to Dresden by the best road I can find (probably rebuilding King's Bridge with the pioneer corps). I shall bring my train through as fast as possible, and to this end I am pressing all the train through as fast as possible, and to this end I am pressing all the trains I can find in the country. I have been compelled to disobey the order to take a road west of the Columbus and Corinth road, and I cannot get through within the time specified in your conversation with me.

Had we got across the Obion before it commenced to rise we could have gone by the way of Dyersburg, and should have had no difficulty in going as far as the Hatchie River beyond what would have resulted from the bad condition of the roads. As the streams to the east of us are now falling rapidly, and the roads are drying up, we may be able to get through reasonably fast.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

GEO. E. WARING, JR., Col. 4th Mo. Cav., Cmdg. Cav. Brig., 6th Div., 16th A. C.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. I, pp. 112-114. 

See also: Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. II, p. 316, 326.



22-ca. February 2, 1865, Exile of influential citizens of Davidson, Rutherford and Williamson counties
HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND, Eastport, Miss., February 2, 1865.
Col. J. G. PARKHURST, Provost-Marshal-Gen., Department of the Cumberland:
COL.: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of date January 22 relative to certain persons who have been required to show cause why they should not be sent beyond the Federal lines and asking for further instructions. The major-general commanding directs that you not only require the leading and influential citizens of Davidson, Rutherford, and Williamson Counties, of the State of Tennessee, to show cause why they should not be sent south, but that you require from this class of residents wherever they come within your reach anywhere within the limits of the State, such statements made in accordance with existing orders. He further directs that until further orders you send the papers in each case to these headquarters for final decision.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
ROBT. H. RAMSEY, Assistant Adjutant-Gen.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 49, pt. I, p. 629

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